Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mixed Reviews

Well, it was an interesting and somewhat disappointing day of cooking.  I tried two new dishes: Easy Stuffed Portabella in a Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce and Simple Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Ginger.

The Portabella recipe was by far the better of the two, and yet I still had a few issues with it.  The original recipe can be found here on Angela's Oh She Glows web site.  I was doubtful about the sauce and when I made it. It's consistency was really thick like a peanut butter. I kept thinking it needed some other liquid in it to thin it out and make it more sauce like, but since this was my first stab at this recipe, I wanted to do it justice and make the sauce as close to the original as possible. The only thing I did differently was to sub olive oil for the sunflower oil, because I couldn't find any.
My mushrooms looked delicious going into the oven, and came out looking good as well. The traditionalist in me made one with a little extra shredded mozzarella strewn over the top and the other without any extra cheese.  The flavor was good, but because my mushrooms weren't uniform in size (one was thin and one was thick), they cooked differently. The thicker one was not as done as I would have like it, and both seemed watery to me.When I brought them out of the oven there were mushroom juices all over the baking sheet. I prefer my mushroom bottoms a little crispier like a pizza crust would be The flavor, however, was a winner.

Well, I dropped the thin slid right off the  dish, and the texture of the thicker one, I didn't care for.  I even tried to cook it longer. it just didn't seem to want to get done.  The cashew cheese sauce was a bright spot in the dish and really contributed a lot to the flavor, I think. After all the dishes were cleaned up, I decided that I would try it again, but I would rework the recipe to make the mushrooms crispier, possibly baking and/or broiling them prior to putting toppings on like I do with any pizza crust that I make.  And, while I liked the cashew cheese sauce flavor, I think I can take it and make it even better, or I may change the cheese sauce completely. Who knows.  On a scale of 5 spoons, this recipe gets 3 spoons. 

The second recipe it seems was from a message board maybe. I'm not sure. It was a stir-fry tofu recipe.  It smelled great, but tasted horrible: a little sour and waaaaay too salty, even for me.  I had high hopes for this dish, but the sauce was so salty, you couldn't taste anything but salt. It pains me to think of all the good veggies I washed and cut up and put in it only to be able to not taste any of them. Bummer.  The tofu was weird. I pressed it and dried it like I was instructed. It smelled like caulk or putty when I took it out of the package. Then after I diced it and marinaded it, I cooked it on the stove top to help with its consistency and to hopefully make it crispier. Unfortunately, nothing could help the flavor.  I want to try tofu again sometime, but it might be awhile. Ironically, my one child who naturally is a light meat eater (if any) said the only thing he like about the dish was the "square chicken." He ate all his tofu and left everything else. Go figure.  So DH had peanut butter, the kids had hamburgers, and I had a bowl of cereal.  It really did end up a mighty fine dinner, Miss Betty.  Only 1 spoon for this one : ( .


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